No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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zamboni920
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Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE with Hannigan 2+2 sidecar

No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby zamboni920 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:11 am



My bike has been sitting for a month or so. 1996 GL1500SE . Now it will not start, regardless how much I crank. I also smell fuel , but only when cranking. My first thought was flooding. I let it sit for a few days , and tried again, still no luck.
Can it be float needles leaking, or should it smell fuel all the time then? Can it be the Auto Fuel Shut-off valve ? All suggestions welcome. I think I will start by pulling the plugs and check for solid sparks.....it did fire briefly the first time I tried, so I think there are sparks.
This bike has a large heavy-duty car battery in right saddlebag, and it reads solid 11.8 volts.



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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:22 pm

zamboni920 wrote:My bike has been sitting for a month or so. 1996 GL1500SE . Now it will not start, regardless how much I crank. I also smell fuel , but only when cranking. My first thought was flooding. I let it sit for a few days , and tried again, still no luck.
Can it be float needles leaking, or should it smell fuel all the time then? Can it be the Auto Fuel Shut-off valve ? All suggestions welcome. I think I will start by pulling the plugs and check for solid sparks.....it did fire briefly the first time I tried, so I think there are sparks.
This bike has a large heavy-duty car battery in right saddlebag, and it reads solid 11.8 volts.


That's your problem. You're smelling fuel because you're pumping fuel/air mixture out the exhaust while cranking, without it being burned.

Your problem is 11.8 volts on your battery. That's definitely not "solid." The GL1500 likes LOTS of power to start, and 11.8 when just sitting is not going to cut it. A lead-acid battery should be at 12.6 volts when at rest. 11.8 volts says one of two things:

- Your battery is discharged to about 18% state of charge
- Your battery has one or more dead cells

Go ahead and charge your battery until your charger says it is full. Take the charger off and let the battery sit for 30 minutes. The measure the voltage. For a 100% state of charge (fully charged) it should be 12.6 volts. If it is anything less than 12.6 (or especially if it is still 11.8) then you have a bad cell. If you are reading 11.8 after that, your battery is toast, and needs to be replaced.

Lead-Acid Battery State of Charge Chart
Lead-Acid Battery State of Charge Chart

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cpwomer
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Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby cpwomer » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:15 pm

Your right it take a bunch of amps to fire properly. In cold weather like this I have to hit it with the 30 amp charge for about 5 minutes...Then it fires right up...But I'm in GA and these 20 degree mornings we been have really make it hard starting but then once I'm out there and riding stop and go I don't have any more problems till its sits in the cold again... Come summer noooo problems. If you going to let it sit for awhile like that I would consider a battery tender of some sorts...Good luck and happy winter motoring... Someone ask me once How do you winterize your motorcycle???? I looked at him for about 10 long seconds, and said, First I put on about 3 layers of clothes, then I plug in my electric gloves connected to my electric vest, and my electric chaps....Then I climb on my couch with wheels and cruise....He said WOW can I get stuff like that for my Harley, I told him OH, NO there only made for Goldwings...%&%#@%%#&&^ Dumarss
1988 GL1500 U.S Army, Ret. Owner/Operator,Ride Captain Patriot Guard Rider of GA, Director American Legion Riders Post 149 Jasper, GA

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RoadRogue
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Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby RoadRogue » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:22 pm

The 1500 has a strange little quirk to it, at least mine does, if it has been sitting for awhile and wont start after a few seconds of cranking try pressing the starter button for shorter periods of time, say 1 second or less, when you release the button it while fire. Shorter cranking works better. These bikes dont like low battery power. 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
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Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:55 am

RoadRogue wrote:The 1500 has a strange little quirk to it, at least mine does, if it has been sitting for awhile and wont start after a few seconds of cranking try pressing the starter button for shorter periods of time, say 1 second or less, when you release the button it while fire. Shorter cranking works better. These bikes dont like low battery power. 8-)


cwpomer, just a quick note, it's not amps that the bike needs to fire well, it's volts. You can have all the amps available in the world, but if your voltage is low, you won't have a strong enough spark to start the bike.

RoadRogue, the reason for that is the recovery rate of lead-acid batteries. When you hit the starter, it draws a ton of current, which lowers the available voltage. The longer you hold the starter down, the more power it sucks out of the battery, and the lower the voltage goes. When you let off the starter, the battery starts recovering, and the voltage slowly starts to come back up - although never to its original level, as you've used up some of the stored charge in cranking the engine.

If your bike is not starting WHILE the starter is pressed, then your battery is low to begin with. However, if you let up off the starter, and the engine is still spinning, suddenly there is more voltage available because the battery is no longer being called upon to crank the engine. Because there's suddenly more voltage, now there is enough voltage to generate a strong spark, and because the engine is still spinning, it lights up and fires.

If you hold the starter down too long, the battery voltage is sucked down too low, and there isn't enough voltage to create a good spark when you let go of the starter.

Put a good quality AGM battery in the bike, and use a Battery Tender to keep it healthy, and you won't have either of those problems.

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dwitgoldwing
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Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade CSC sidecar, 1969 CB350, 1977 Suzuki GS750, Honda Odyssey Fl250 (now a 440)

Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby dwitgoldwing » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:37 pm

Voltage and RESERVE is why I bought an Odyssey PC680MJ for my 1500. I had one in my GL1200 and it turned the engine over like a toy; no challenge at all...
If you read some of the comments on better batteries, (like the one I use), the 1500 just starts better. One guy even said his bike doesn't have the "start after you let go of the button syndrome" (or something to that effect). I do know it's also important to clean the starter switch, after the bike has been sitting a while. On one of my GL1200's the headlight didn't want to work unless the starter switch button was cleaned first... And then it worked perfectly.

Anyway, back to the battery, I am putting my Odyssey in this week along with lots of seat heaters and stuff, (Yay, Me!). In my opinion, traditional batteries just are a waste of money...the battery I'm replacing always left me wondering if I would make it home or not.
For our big trip next year, I am buying a spare Odyssey battery to keep in the sidecar, just in case.

Best wishes!
Love my Wing!!!

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bellboy40
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Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby bellboy40 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:11 pm

I have an AGM battery in my 1500 that will be 6 years old later this month and it still starts with the first stab of the starter button. The only time it doesn't start instantly is if it has been sitting idle for a couple weeks or more. Then it takes a few tries before the fuel gets back in the carbs. I have not had the "starts after letting go the starter button" since using the AGM. These six cylinder motors seem to require a robust battery to start or you will have trouble with them.

wingdings
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Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby wingdings » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:36 pm

had the same problem myself - replaced the battery and the alternator with a compufire set up - this gives much better starting all round - go to http://www.compufire.com/index.php I have never looked back since . you can also add more electrics to the bike due to the high out put of 90amps - not 65 amps with the standard set up and I added a trickle charger for when the bike is stood - job done !! .

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dwitgoldwing
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Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby dwitgoldwing » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:31 pm

Yes, I think the Compu-fire setup is definitely the way to go.
Peace of mind is a good thing when you're out on the road...

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zamboni920
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Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby zamboni920 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:00 am

I plugged in my CTEK Multi XS 3600 battery tender a while ago, and the battery now stays fully charged while the bike is sitting. Cranking, and starting, is not a problem ....but only while using Start gas (Ether) in the air intake.
Checked the auto fuel shut-off valve with vacuum pump. It does not hold vacuum, so I think a rebuild is needed. Will a bad diaphragm in the valve cause fuel beeing sucked in through the vacuum hose?
After this, I directly connected fuel lines, bypassing the valve, but still has no start. Sign of bad fuel pump?
Today I am going to check fuel pump operation per testing procedure in the Clymer "Bible" .
Any other suggestions?
Appreciate the comments.

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robb
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Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby robb » Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:56 pm

Have you removed and cleaned the battery cables. Given the bad weather for the past few months a loose cable could create havoc. Check plug cap when removed.

Felt good enough to try and crank mine yesterday and only after hooking to charger did I notice the kill switch was in far off position.

cavdog237
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Location: Enterprises, Alabama
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE

Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby cavdog237 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:22 pm

zamboni920 wrote:My bike has been sitting for a month or so. 1996 GL1500SE . Now it will not start, regardless how much I crank. I also smell fuel , but only when cranking. My first thought was flooding. I let it sit for a few days , and tried again, still no luck.
Can it be float needles leaking, or should it smell fuel all the time then? Can it be the Auto Fuel Shut-off valve ? All suggestions welcome. I think I will start by pulling the plugs and check for solid sparks.....it did fire briefly the first time I tried, so I think there are sparks.
This bike has a large heavy-duty car battery in right saddlebag, and it reads solid 11.8 volts.

MichaelOnn
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:12 am
Location: Lawnton, Queensland, Australia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE

Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby MichaelOnn » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:52 am

I had this problem last weekend. Only it happened after we'd already ridden 50kms and we stopped to enjoy the view. After trying to start the '97 GL1500SE a couple of times (waiting a while in between tries for the battery to recover to 12v) my brother-in-law suggested we drop the current draw at start up by removing the head light and tail light fuses. Fired up straight away, albeit quite rough because it was a tad flooded. I rode the bike the rest of the morning with the volt meter showing 14.4v and didn't have a problem starting the bike after that. I've spoken to my auto electrician and he has suggested fitting a relay that keeps the lights off until after the bike has started which I will let him fit and let y'all know how it goes. A glass mat battery will also be fitted at the same time.
Not for a moment suggesting to remove fuses as a full solution. But if like me you're stuck on the top of a mountain with miles between you and help and your GL1500 won't start 'cause your battery is tired, pull the headlight fuse and the battery might just have enough to get you going.
If it doesn't work.....I said nothin' :D

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:49 am

MichaelOnn wrote:I had this problem last weekend. Only it happened after we'd already ridden 50kms and we stopped to enjoy the view. After trying to start the '97 GL1500SE a couple of times (waiting a while in between tries for the battery to recover to 12v) my brother-in-law suggested we drop the current draw at start up by removing the head light and tail light fuses. Fired up straight away, albeit quite rough because it was a tad flooded. I rode the bike the rest of the morning with the volt meter showing 14.4v and didn't have a problem starting the bike after that. I've spoken to my auto electrician and he has suggested fitting a relay that keeps the lights off until after the bike has started which I will let him fit and let y'all know how it goes. A glass mat battery will also be fitted at the same time.
Not for a moment suggesting to remove fuses as a full solution. But if like me you're stuck on the top of a mountain with miles between you and help and your GL1500 won't start 'cause your battery is tired, pull the headlight fuse and the battery might just have enough to get you going.
If it doesn't work.....I said nothin' :D


Actually, if you notice, when you press the start button, it ALREADY kills the headlight, for as long as the start button is pressed. This is part of the design of this (and pretty much every) motorcycle.

The GL1500 just needs a TON of power to start. A fresh AGM battery is normally all that is needed, no modifications are required. With a fresh, charged battery, the bike will start quickly and reliably. If the bike won't start reliably, or requires you to pull fuses in order to get it to start, it's time to replace your battery.

MichaelOnn
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:12 am
Location: Lawnton, Queensland, Australia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE

Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby MichaelOnn » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:28 pm

Number 1 thing on the shopping list.

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donnewald
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Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE Lehman trike

Re: No start and a lot of cranking, fuel smell

Postby donnewald » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:52 pm

Gl1500 SE triked here and I can attest to the low battery syndrome. Try hooking up a battery charger and see if your bike will start. It needs 12+ volts to start, and if it isn't there (no matter how well it turns over) your bike will not start.




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